Being older certainly doesn't mean you need to cut back on exercise. The benefits of following a consistent exercise routine are many, including in helping to reduce the effects of the aging process.
Seniors are more likely to have fragile bones and aching joints than younger adults and that makes it more imperative to find low-impact exercises that don't exacerbate those issues.
Here are seven exercises that will help keep you fit without putting undue stress on your body:
Dancing isn't only fun, but it's a great form of low-impact exercise. Recent studies have shown dancing can improve your gait and balance, which makes this an ideal exercise for preventing falls.
2. Sink Squat
Sometimes you can find ways to exercise right in your own home with familiar objects that make great props. One exercise is the "sink squat" in which you place both hands flat on the surface of the sink, then bend gently as if you're sitting down in a chair. When you feel a gentle stretch in your thighs, press down on the sink with your hands to raise yourself up. Do as many repetitions as you can comfortably.
3. Water Aerobics
While swimming itself is a great form of exercise, water aerobics is an excellent low-impact option that can help ease arthritis and joint pain while also increasing muscle mass and bone density. Moreover, it's another form of exercise that can improve balance.
The AARP has given its thumbs-up to yoga for being particularly beneficial to seniors. It's low impact and has many benefits, including:
- It increases flexibility while improving balance.
- It strengthens bones and protects joints.
- It helps you lose weight and maintain it.
- It eases hypertension.
- It improves your mood.
5. Tai Chi
Like yoga, Tai Chi is low impact and therefore very beneficial for seniors. It helps you maintain your strength, balance and flexibility as you age. Be sure to check with your doctor first, especially if you have a condition that limits your mobility.
The benefits of a consistent walking program are well-documented and it's a great form of exercise for older adults who want to "put in the miles" without heavy impact. It can be done indoors our out, and is great with a partner. If you're just starting out, gradually build yourself up to longer distances.
Like walking, cycling enables you to enjoy the great outdoors while not place a heavy toll on your bones and joints. You'll work your lower body and cardiovascular system. Make sure the bike is the right size for you to ensure safety.
The Amarillo Town Club offers several group classes and activities for seniors, including aqua fitness, yoga and more. Contact the ATC today and ask about our variety of fitness offerings.
NOTICE: Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. This information is for general use and is not intended to be a prescription. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise program. If you experience any pain or difficulty with these exercises, stop and consult your healthcare provider.